Vincenzo Cesare Dapino was the first commander of the First Motorized Group, a unit of the Italian Royal army that took part in the Battle of Cassino. Moved by his loyalty to the King and his desire to free Italy from the German occupation, he had to overcome many difficulties.

In 1912 the Italian Vincenzo Cesare Dapino was appointed Second Lieutenant of the Alpine troops. He fought in the Libyan war, in the First World War and in the War in Ethiopia. During the Second World War he fought in Albania and was decorated with the Silver Medal for Military Value. Even though some generals considered it a desperate task and refused, Dapino accepted the command of the First Motorized Group, the first brigade of the Italian Royal Army, which participated in the Battle of Cassino under the U.S. 5th Army.

Dapino was moved by his loyalty to the king and his motherland and by his desire to contribute to Italy’s liberation from German occupation. The First Motorized Group consisted of about 5,000 men. After thorough inspections and exercises, the Americans judged the moral and training of the group very high, but their equipment rather poor. The unit bore the heavy responsibility of redeeming the military honour of the Italian Army.

Dapino had to overcome many difficulties. Dapino led the First Motorized Group during the Battle of Monte Lungo. After the battle, which caused heavy losses on Italian side, Dapino appeared physically worn out and was replaced by General Umberto Utili. Vincenzo Dapino was decorated with the Military Order of Savoy and in 1952 he was promoted Lieutenant-General in the reserve.

Vincenzo Dapino